The Pluralist 4 (3):98-126 (2009)

Hugh P. McDonald
The New School (PhD)
In this essay, I will argue for the actuality of principles. Principles are normative in that they regulate the relation of actuality and potentiality as well as operate across time, from the past and present to the future. They may also apply across space, that is, that the same principle operates in different places in the same way, for example the laws of motion. Principles mean that change follows certain regularities. I will examine the modality of principles, the relation to pluralism. I will argue negatively for the principle of principles, that is, that the world actually exhibits or contains principles. I will then argue that principles as origins cannot be accounted for by ontology. Principles are neither material nor substantial beings but both of the latter presume, as generals or “universals,” the actuality of principles. Thus principles could be considered in the category of “thirds” in Peirce. I will argue that principles also support James’s model of a “pluralistic universe” of change.
Keywords principles  norms  pluralism  ontology  actuality  universals
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1353/plu.0.0028
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,192
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Pigeonhole and Choice Principles.Wolfgang Degen - 2000 - Mathematical Logic Quarterly 46 (3):313-334.
Moral Principles Are Not Moral Laws.Luke Robinson - 2007 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 2 (3):1-22.
Provability in Principle and Controversial Constructivistic Principles.Leon Horsten - 1997 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 26 (6):635-660.
Iteration Principles in Epistemology I: Arguments For.Daniel Greco - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (11):754-764.
Chisholm's Epistemic Principles.Ernest Sosa - 2003 - Metaphilosophy 34 (5):553-562.
Principles scientifiques, principes philosophiques.Gilles Gaston Granger - 1999 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 3 (1):87-100.
Underdetermination and the Principles of Semantic Theory.George Powell - 2002 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102 (3):271–278.
Distinguishing Causality Principles.Miklós Rédei & Iñaki San Pedro - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 43 (2):84-89.


Added to PP index

Total views
110 ( #106,532 of 2,507,093 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #417,155 of 2,507,093 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes